The logo for Key To Korean combines:
- A key icon (from the Webdings font)
- A modified #2 (from a Korean script font)
- Hangul letters that could be transformed to spell “Korean” (from HY동녘M)
I wanted to create a logo that was a direct literal representation of the name “Key 2 Korean”. The #2 is positioned in such a way as to almost “point” to the circular Hangul character in the center of the logo.
In a video version of the logo:
- The key would insert itself into that circle (as directed by the arrow-like #2)
- Turn to “unlock” the rest of the logo
- The Hangul font would then rotate, adjust, and reform itself to spell (in English) the word “Korean”
This concept was taken from a previous Hangul → English design I created for my Master’s degree work at Full Sail University.
The only design specification I was given – by my wife – was to “make it green.” Her favorite color is green, so I knew she wanted the MAJORITY of the color to be green. Therefore, I started by adding a green tint to a background image I’d previously designed for a different website concept.
I decided to use the traditional Korean pattern on that background as a design element and favicon for the brand.
Although I scanned my home office for the original logo sketches, I couldn’t find them (I think they were mostly on scrap pieces of paper rather than collected in a notebook at that time in 2012). So, the sketches below show my work on the updated logo for 2015.
As you can see, I usually take extensive notes and try out as many possible ideas as I can – even some that are way outside the box. I like to try to flesh out as many ideas as possible (up to 100) with pen and paper first before hitting the computer.
Then, after sketching extensively, I take to the computer to put together my ideas in Illustrator. Below is a short sample of some of the ideas I played around with in Illustrator before finalizing the updated logo.
Here’s another logo design that didn’t make the final cut. I even tried it out on our Winter Special class ebook before deciding that it wasn’t as iconic and impactful as the original.
2012 Logo + Brand
Because we are teaching a number of different books and I’m (personally) preparing the supplementary grammar and vocab sheets for each book, I decided it would be good to keep a (fairly) unified design across all our materials and just change the color to match that of each book.
Below are a number of our header images. We’ve used these for:
- The website
- Mail Chimp
- Video backgrounds
The fifth (bright green) one is the updated design color for 2015 and the final version is one of our video backgrounds from 2012.
2015 Logo & Brand
The logo I finalized for 2015 is a cleaned up version of the original logo.
- It works well in one color (whereas the other one didn’t)
- It incorporates the brand name with the icon (using the Miso font)
- And rather than keeping the old background with random simple Hangul words (like “blue” and “blog”) and a hanji paper design, I chose to use a simple one-color green and the Hunmin Jeongeum as text.
The Hunmin Jeongeum is the text written by King Sejong’s scribes to introduce Hangul as a new native Korean language script in 1446 – so it has significant meaning (and is rather cool to look at). This is the same design we used for my wife’s business cards – and the same text used in the website header.
Take a look at the differences and similarities between the two logo designs below:
I’m also currently in the process of updating our Social Media channels with the new branding. Below you can see a working version of our upcoming Facebook cover image:
Apart from the fonts previously mentioned, the following fonts were our “brand fonts” with each design: